How to save a spider

Most spiders are smaller than your thumb, but they have a mighty reputation. Venom and silk are their superpowers and they save us from a world that would otherwise be overrun with insects. Most spiders are harmless, but sometimes they turn up around the home in places that might not be convenient.

On National Save A Spider Day (14 March), Queensland Museum arachnologist Dr Robert Raven has some tips for safely ‘saving’ a spider around your home.

Please be careful and don’t attempt to relocate Redbacks or other dangerous venomous spiders. Remember, if you are unsure whether a spider might be dangerous or not, please do not handle them.

The easiest and most effective way is to use a cup and a stiff piece of paper, such as a card, using the paper, guide the spider towards an open area (if it’s on the wall, you don’t need to move it). Take your cup, put it over the spider and slide the paper under the cup. Keeping the paper in place, lift the cup and go outside and find a good area for the spider to let go.

If you are gentle, you can use a dustpan and brush, but make sure when you are walking the spider outside, tap the underside of the dustpan, so the vibrations will ensure the spider stays still and doesn’t move.

Also think twice before destroying a spider web – it takes a lot of energy to build and a hungry spider might not have enough reserves to build a new one. But if you are comfortable having the spider in your home, there are many benefits to sharing your space with them.

Want to know more about spiders? Learn more here.

Do you have a photo of spider you want identified? Use the Queensland Museum Ask an Expert service here.

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